Pentagon Conducted ‘Damage Control’ Following Trump Threats To Pull Out Of NATO

AFP/Getty Images

When President Donald Trump left the NATO summit on the heels of threats to pull out of the alliance, the Pentagon made calls to defense officials in Europe to offer reassurances that the U.S. would not abandon their defense posts in the region, NBC News reported Friday.

Multiple current and former diplomatic and military officials who spoke with NBC characterized the calls as “damage control” and a reinforcement of “alliance commitments.”

In a press conference on Thursday, Trump wouldn’t answer questions about his threats to pull out of the alliance over allies’ defense contributions, but said that withdrawing the U.S. would be “unnecessary” because “people have stepped up today like they’ve never stepped up before.”

While Trump boasted that NATO leaders had committed to contributing a bigger percentage of their nations’ gross domestic product, some allies have combated those claims. French President Emmanuel Macron said nothing had changed, and that each country remained committed to contributing at least 2 percent to defense by 2024, an agreement made in 2014.

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